Return to Transcripts main page


George Zimmerman On Trial; Final Moments Of Flight 214; Gas Prices Expected To Soar; Limiting Arsenic In Apple Juice; Train Disaster: More Bodies Found; Landslide The Size Of A Small Town; Snowden To Meet Human Rights Advocates; San Diego Mayor "I Need Help"; Appetite For Destruction; Wild Weather Cleanup; Surviving A Mudslide; Walmart Versus D.C. Lawmakers

Aired July 12, 2013 - 06:00   ET


CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: This morning, the defense will give closing arguments answering Thursday's powerful summation by the state. Prosecutors got a big boosters. The judge ruled the jury can consider a new charge in the case.

For what it is and what it means, let's get to CNN's George Howell in Sanford, Florida, with the latest. Good morning, George.

GEORGE HOWELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Chris, good morning. So that new charge manslaughter and it will be up to Defense Attorney Mark O'Mara for three hours to make the case, to convince jurors that George Zimmerman is not guilty of manslaughter. That he is not guilty of second-degree murder and then the prosecution gets one hour for rebuttal.


JUDGE DEBRA NELSON: The attorneys will now present their final arguments.

HOWELL (voice-over): Closing arguments, the final stage in the trial against George Zimmerman for the fatal shooting of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin.

BERNIE DE LA RIONDA, LEAD PROSECUTOR: A teenager is dead. He is dead through no fault of his own. He is dead because another man made assumptions.

HOWELL: Prosecutor Bernie De La Rionda went into great detail pointing out inconsistencies in Zimmerman's story from the national television interview he did to the video re-enactment conducted with police. The prosecution then picked apart Zimmerman's account of what happened.

RIONDA: Why is he able to yell if the defendant claims the victim was -- how he's going to talk or is he lying about that? Look at the gun. Look at the size of this gun. How did the victim see that in the darkness?

HOWELL: In closing, De La Rionda even elicited a reaction from George Zimmerman. RIONDA: Unfortunately, the only photographs left of Trayvon Martin are those M.E. photographs. They have still got other photographs and you saw some of them, the football from the younger days, but they can't take any more photos and that's true because of the actions of one person, the man before you, the man who is guilty of second-degree murder.

HOWELL: Before closing arguments even began --

DON WEST, ZIMMERMAN'S DEFENSE LAWYER: Just when I thought this case couldn't get any more bizarre, the state is seeking third-degree murder based on child abuse?

HOWELL: Defense Attorney Don West didn't mince words during the hearing on the state's request to include a lesser charge of third- degree felony murder as one of the options for jurors to consider. West called the state's strategy a trick.

WEST: This is outrageous. It's outrageous that the state would seek to do this at this time.

HOWELL: In the end, Judge Debra Nelson ruled against that option, but will allow jurors to consider manslaughter as a possible alternative to second-degree murder.


HOWELL: So we saw prosecutors the other day go point by point with a slide show, PowerPoint slide show also using those videos of George Zimmerman making statements. We expect that Defense Attorney Mark O'Mara may turn to that video re-enactment, the computer re-enactment of the crime scene that was evidence that he wanted to get into the trial. Remember, Judge Debra Nelson said it couldn't be evidence for the jury to take back into the jury room, but instead could be used as a demonstrative tool. That's what we expect him to do today as he makes those closing remarks.

CUOMO: All right, George, the advantage for the defense will be that the jury never had to hear that animated recreation questioned by the prosecution. We'll have to see which way it plays out and we will have to tee up what the defense will do to counter the points that were made by the prosecution.

We're going to do that with a lot of analysis throughout this final day, an all-star panel, CNN senior legal analyst, Jeff Toobin, Defense Attorney Danny Cevallos and CNN legal analyst, Sunny Hostin.

KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: Right now, the terrifying final minute of Flight 214. As an in-depth review of the cockpit and data recorder reveals the two pilots called to abort the landing and there was no problem until 50 seconds before impact.

Miguel Marquez is joining us live with continuing coverage in San Francisco International Airport to talk to me about the newest details emerging in this ongoing investigation -- Miguel. MIGUEL MARQUEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning there, Kate. We now know it was within 9 seconds though despite all of this, within 9 seconds the reality that they were going too slow didn't sink in despite the fact that within the last minute they had done a pre- landing check, and we now know the pilot had actually looked at the speed indicator.


MARQUEZ (voice-over): This morning, new pictures, the remnants of a charred Flight 214 after it slammed into the seawall. The debris, giant rocks, pieces of the tail section and the landing gear littering the runway and now we have the fullest picture yet of the flight's final moments. Around 50 seconds out the first officer sitting in the jump seat comments about the sink rate, that's the speed at which the plane is descending. At about 35 seconds out and 500 feet up the pilot told investigators he saw a bright light and in response looked at the controls in the cockpit including the speed indicator.

DEBORAH HERSMAN, NTSB CHAIRWOMAN: At about 500 feet, the air speed was approximately 134 knots.

MARQUEZ: The 350-ton plane was already below the 137-knot speed to which the pilot believed he had set the auto throttle and for the first time, we are hearing that at 9 seconds before impact 100-feet above the ground one of the pilots expressed concern about the aircraft's speed.

HERSMAN: And almost immediately after that is the first comment regarding speed since we started sharing information on starting at 500 feet.

MARQUEZ: And we are now learning there were two call-outs for a go around seconds before this.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: My God, it's an accident!

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You're filming it, too.


MARQUEZ: A plane crash so significant NTSB now says it will put everything it can into finding out what caused this crash.


MARQUEZ: Now, NTSB typically says it takes about 18 months to finish these investigations. It wants to get that under 12 months, it finds this one so concerning and it also reserves the right to issue recommendations if it finds that it needs to along the way during this investigation. Kate, back to you.

BOLDUAN: Miguel, some of the attention is obviously on Asiana Airlines itself. Talk to me about Asiana's -- its record with the FAA prior to the crash. You've been looking into it. MARQUEZ: Yes, despite that it's a foreign carrier the FAA does keep tabs on it. They have watched this airline over the last 18 months. They have a team that looks at each and every airline, that team reported back to NTSB they call it a quiet airline with no significant concerns for it. So it looks to be in good order where airlines are concerned -- Kate.

BOLDUAN: And why there are so many questions of what happened this time and we know it will be a long investigation to find that question -- to find that answer. Miguel, it's great to see you. Thank you so much, in San Francisco for us this morning.

All right, this morning, we are also watching gas prices for you with oil hovering just under $105 a barrel, experts are predicting gas prices will spike within days and it's going to be pretty significant.

Christine Romans is here to explain all of this for us. This is an important story for every household, Christine. So let's start first with oil prices, why are they going up?

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Well, couple of reasons, Kate, you've got unrest in Egypt, and unrest in Egypt tends to cause concern about the Suez Canal where a lot of this oil -- some of this oil passes through. So that's one of the reasons why you see prices go up. You also have reduced oil inventory in the U.S. because of, you know, annual maintenance, seasonal maintenance on Midwestern refineries and also around the world. You have less supply come out of Libya. That's another reason too.

BOLDUAN: So a lot happening overseas specifically. How do high oil prices compute to price at the pump?

ROMANS: This is what we're paying right now, $3.55, is the new number from this morning, $3.55, that's the average across the country. We're still a little bit lower than we were just a month ago, but still we're up considerably from a year ago. A couple of things that play here when you look at this, you hear analysts saying that you could see another 10 cent to 20 cent increase in the price of gas. Some are telling me maybe even you could see 30 cents and each penny increase how it feels to you each penny increase is $4 million a day that is out of your pocket in this country. So that's like a tax on consumers, quite frankly, less money to spend.

BOLDUAN: And everyone is going to wonder, yes, prices go up in the summer traditionally, but is this a long-term trend or is this a spike we're going to see going down?

ROMANS: You could see it tends to spike in the summers so maybe we hope maybe that in September it's going to go down. A lot of people watching this level, this is right before the financial crisis, you had those record highs in gas prices. That really hurt, but look at what happened, nothing helped gas prices more than a global recession. We don't want that. No question, but you can see the peaks tend to happen in the summers, hopefully that means prices go down in the fall.

BOLDUAN: You see kind of a slow trend upward. This is so important because this affects every family.

ROMANS: Absolutely.

BOLDUAN: Not everyone flies, maybe not everyone's buying a home but everyone's driving.

ROMANS: Gas prices it is your personal economic indicator, every week you fill up the tank so you feel that more than any other single thing other than a job, you feel gas prices.

BOLDUAN: All right, we're watching this and following this trend, $3.55 Christine says is the average price.

ROMANS: Another 20 cents maybe.

BOLDUAN: Hopefully not 30. All right, Christine, thanks so much -- Chris.

CUOMO: All right, Kate, a lot of news developing at this hour so let's get over to Michaela with the latest.

MICHAELA PEREIRA, CNN ANCHOR: Speaking about something a lot of people care about, what we put in our kids' tummies. We have breaking news overnight, the FDA proposing a new limit of arsenic in apple juice according to the "New York Times." This move comes after more than a year of pressure from consumer groups worried about the cancer causing agent and how it's affecting our children's health. It is a big deal concerning apple juice trails only orange juice in popularity. We'll have very much more on this for you coming up in our next hour, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, will join us.

More bodies have been recovered in the runaway train disaster in Canada. That number now up to 24. The railway chairman says he will now not go back to Lac-Magantic until he is welcome. Edward Burkhardt said he did not expect the seething anger he received Wednesday. In an exclusive interview with CNN, he said he genuinely cared and tried to get people to listen.


EDWARD BURKHARDT, PRESIDENT, RAIL WORLD, INC.: I talked about I have no empathy or sympathy and in fact, I would have plenty in that situation and I'd be grieving and very unhappy. I'd be very mad about the whole thing.


PEREIRA: Twenty six others remain missing and are presumed dead likely incinerated in that inferno.

Deadly severe flooding in South Western China has reportedly killed at least 31 people, most of the dead trapped in a landslide the size of a small town in Sichuan Province. Rescuers are digging through 53 million cubic feet of dirt in search of 166 people who are missing. Less rain is in the forecast, which should certainly make the search easier. NSA leaker Edward Snowden suggesting the U.S. is on a witch hunt in a Facebook post. He says the government is denying him the right to seek asylum. Snowden is expected to speak about that in a meeting with human rights advocates in about three hours' time. It will take place at the Moscow Airport where he has been hold up for some time. Meanwhile, "The Washington Post" is reporting there are new concerns Snowden may have stolen sensitive files that detail U.S. spying against Chinese leaders.

A stunning admission from the mayor of San Diego as he faces a swirling sexual harassment scandal, Bob Filner says he needs help, but refused calls for his resignation.


BOB FILNER, SAN DIEGO MAYOR: As someone fighting for equality I am embarrassed that I have failed to fully respect the women who work for and with me and at times I may have intimidated them.


PEREIRA: Earlier in the day, several long time supporters called for Filner to step down. They suggest the women he has accused of harassing are trying to stay out of the spotlight, but might press charges if he does not resign.

A South Florida woman thought she had a secret enemy who was vandalizing her SUV. It turns out though it was a squirrel with an appetite for destruction. Nora Zeigler called police when she saw the chunk of her wheel well of her SUV missing. She eventually caught the culprit on her cell phone camera. Yes, the Zeigler's have now nicknamed him Munchy. Critter removal service suspects that Munchy was trying to burrow to build a nest. I'm thinking there would be different materials that would be easier to chew through Munchy, metal not good on the chompers.

BOLDUAN: Maybe it's like an iron thing, like maybe he needs some fiber.

PEREIRA: You think he might need a supplement in his squirrel diet?

BOLDUAN: I don't know. I tried, I don't know.

PEREIRA: I like it.

CUOMO: I'm a car guy. I'm not happy about it.

PEREIRA: I noticed you were sitting there seething.

BOLDUAN: We don't want to talk about what Chris would do if he found that squirrel munching on his car.

CUOMO: We'll leave it for another day. Plenty of other things to talk about so let's go from our little friend the squirrel to these real problems, flooding, mudslides across the entire country, communities are cleaning up with some wild weather. This morning we're hearing from a man who survived getting swept away by a Colorado mudslide while inside his car, had the presence of mind to shoot it while he was going through it so he could report what happened to him.

CNN meteorologist Chad Everett Myers joins us with the latest.

BOLDUAN: What's with the middle name? We're very formal here.

PEREIRA: Not Chad Myers?

CHAD MYERS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Making Chad Everett really happy. You know, it was an ugly week across a lot of the nation today. I loved the pictures of that driver going down the mudslide trying to drive when he had no control over the car whatsoever. People this week, just this weekend, are going to try to pick up the pieces.



MYERS (voice-over): This morning, we're in the driver's seat during a raging mudslide trapped in Mother Nature's grasp. Watch as cars are swept off the road floating down the highway caught in the swift Manatu Springs mudslide.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: My God, I just got turned around by a whole flash mud. I can't even see out my windows now. I don't know what the -- is happening.

MYERS: Stuck on the mountainside for four hours. Josh Schroyer had to crawl out of his driver's side window to escape.

JOHN SCHROYER, CAUGHT IN COLORADO MUDSLIDE: Didn't really have time to think. I just held on, you know, for dear life practically. The water hit, my car, started floating and I was desperately trying to steer.

MYERS: And from the north down to the south the story is flooding. Pittsburgh is recovering from flash flood that's left the entire city water logged.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Going through the jungle.

MYERS: While residents near Mertyl Beach tried to adjust to their new normal, while boating a mile to get to their homes, floating above nearly 13 feet of floodwaters.

MICHELLE TEAL FORSYTHE, RESIDENT: It came up so fast I didn't have time to do anything. One day I had land around the house and the next day I was just in the water.

MYERS: And while the East is soaking, the West hoping for rain as wildfires rage, the carpenter one fire singeing nearly 30,000 acres after lightning ignited the flames that brightened the sky ominously closed to the famed Las Vegas Strip.

(END VIDEOTAPE) MYERS: Firefighters hoping for some rain. It really doesn't look like a 10 percent chance is what they don't want, is what they had yesterday, the wind -- the wind was 30 miles per hour fanning those flames across (INAUDIBLE) wildfire. They love some of this.

Some rainfall now into D.C. Even a flash flood warning for Albemarle County, getting out toward Annapolis. Some very heavy rainfall overnight, that rain does sneak into Philadelphia and New York City later on this afternoon. But a pretty nice weekend all in all.

Temperatures way down from where they were, 78 today, 80 tomorrow in New York City and even 87 on Sunday. The big story I think for the rest of this week and into tomorrow, the next week, we're going to be back up into the middle 90s again up here in New York City, Boston, Philadelphia, back into that heat wave we had earlier this week.

Lot of people don't like the heat. I was one of them -- 101-degree heat index in New York City. It isn't so fun.


MYERS: Exercising, not a good time to do that -- only in the morning.

BOLDUAN: So, enjoy this little break that we're going to see now because it's all coming back.

MYERS: Like three days.

BOLDUAN: It's a nice break. I'll take it. Thanks, Chad.

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: Better than none. Better than none.

We're going to take a break here on NEW DAY. When we come back, a bitter battle pitting one of the biggest corporate machines, Walmart, against the biggest political machine, Washington, D.C. Why the retail giant is now killing plans to build three job-creating stores in our nation's capital.

BOLDUAN: And also coming up, you're going to meet a 5-year-old girl -- take a look at her, so cute -- who knew exactly what to do when her mom started choking on a tortilla chip. You'll have to hear the 911 call.


BOLDUAN: Welcome back to NEW DAY, everyone.

A bitter fight underway pitting Walmart against Washington, D.C.

Despite an ultimatum from the big box retailer, the city voted for a substantial raise in the minimum wage for large retail store workers. Well, now, Walmart says they're scrapping plans to build new stores there.

CNN's John Berman joins us with more on the story.

There's a lot of -- this might be tough because you've got the minimum wage, but you also might have a lot of potential jobs gained now lost.


You know, one way or the other, it is always a big deal when Walmart comes to town. It can mean big business, a big boost to jobs, but it can also lead to big fights over wages. What's fair? What's good business and who gets hurt here?

This is why the entire nation is now watching Washington, D.C.


BERMAN (voice-over): It's an epic showdown in the nation's capital.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's a stickup without a gun.

BERMAN: Walmart versus the city of D.C.

BARBARA LANG, DC CHAMBER OF COMMERCE CEO: And how dare the city dictate to a business what their business model ought to be?

BERMAN: A giant private business versus city officials who say they want to ensure higher wages for workers. At stake? Thousands of jobs, and a possible national precedent.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Let them go to hell back in Arkansas!

BERMAN: The battle, Walmart is now killing plans to build three stores in Washington, D.C., after lawmakers passed the living wage bill, despite an ultimatum from the world's largest retailer it forces big box retailers to raise workers' wages to $12.50 an hour, a full 50 percent more than the city's current minimum wage.

CHRISTY HERNANDEZ, WALMART SHOPPER: There's all of these jobs they could have had and now just because of a pay raise there's not going to be a job at all.

BERMAN: A Walmart spokesman toll CNN, "This was a difficult decision for us, but the council has forced our hand." Adding, "Our wages and benefits meet or exceed those offered by most of our competitors."

In on op-ed in "The Washington Post", the retail giant said making Walmart pay workers more than smaller businesses would create an uneven playing field.


BERMAN: Now, Walmart told CNN it will review what to do about three more stores already under construction in the city, all of this depends -- the three stores under construction and the three stores proposed -- on what the mayor does. He has I guess 10 more days to make his decision on whether to veto this bill.

BOLDUAN: I'm wondering if there is an area of compromise on this or if this is an ultimatum as Walmart laid out. I'm just wondering if there's a way for everyone to try to win in the end. But I don't know if there is one.

BERMAN: Well, the council would have to vote again on a different measure if these were vetoed to come up with a middle ground, a middle wage there. But, right now, Walmart is digging in and so is the city council.

BOLDUAN: All right. Well, we follow up on that.

CUOMO: Evidence of true compromise is when everybody feels they didn't get what they absolutely wanted.


CUOMO: This situation will probably come down to that because they really need the job there.

JB, thank you very much.

BOLDUAN: Thanks, John.

CUOMO: Always appreciate.

Take a quick break here. Coming up on NEW DAY, the George Zimmerman murder trial just hours from going to the jury. Florida police are expecting the best but preparing for the worst. We'll tell you what they're doing down there.

BOLDUAN: And of all the people you might think get text messages from the president, is Jay-Z on that list? Maybe. Well, he should be and we will tell you why.


CUOMO: So true, so true.

Welcome back to NEW DAY, everybody. It's Friday, July 12th. I'm Chris Cuomo.

BOLDUAN: Hi there, everyone. I'm Kate Bolduan. We're here with news anchor, Michaela Pereira.

PEREIRA: Good morning.

BOLDUAN: Coming up this morning, a NEW DAY exclusive. We'll hear from the Texas teenager who went to jail over his posting on Facebook about a school shooting.

Justin Carter is his name and he's free on bail and he's going to join us live to talk about his legal challenge that is not over yet.

CUOMO: Four months in jail that guy spent.


CUOMO: Can't believe it. Oh, this is great. We got a great creation for you today, no gas needed for this helicopter, just two feet. How does it work? That man is flying.

Come on.

PEREIRA: That's awesome!

BOLDUAN: I'm stunned to silence. I'm trying to figure it out.

CUOMO: All right. Beautiful.

A lot of news this morning as well. So, let's get over to Michaela.

You really like that.

PEREIRA: I really do like that. It's very cool. We'll show that coming up.

In the news right now, it's the defense's turn today in the George Zimmerman murder trial. They get a chance to present their closing argument, which will be followed by the prosecution's rebuttal.

The case is expected to go to the jury this afternoon. During the state's closing arguments, prosecutors tried to convince the jury that Zimmerman was a lying, paranoid, wannabe cop who profiled Trayvon Martin as a criminal.

The NTSB says there were two calls by two different pilots to abort the landing of Asiana Flight 214 just seconds before the plane crash landed. That new information coming from a thorough review of the cockpit voice recorder. The first call came three seconds before the crash, the second happening 1.5 seconds before impact. The NTSB says it will probably take a year before they formally determine what caused that crash.

Outrage in Newtown, Connecticut. Nearly seven months after the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre, not a single penny has been distributed from the $7.7 million donated to the My Sandy Hook Family Fund. At a town hall meeting last night, victims families demanded more transparency. They were assured final payments will be made by mid-August with 26 families each expected to receive just under $300,000.

A 9-year-old, a 9-year-old boy from Oak Park, Michigan, under arrest for breaking into a bank. Police say this little boy rode his bike to the bank early Friday morning and used the bike to smash through the front door. He was spotted on camera by the bank security company. Police say the boy managed to gather up some rolled coins and bills from a teller's drawer before officers arrived.

Paula Deen has fired her legal time and hired a new one. The new lawyers will represent the celebrity chef in a discrimination lawsuit filed by a former manager of one of Deen's restaurants. The woman claims she was sexually harassed and calls the work environment racist.

More than a dozen companies, including the Food Network, Walmart, and QVC, cut ties with Deen after she admitted using racial slurs.

A 5-year-old New Jersey girl knows exactly what to do when mom started choking on a tortilla chip. Chloe Olsen's (ph) mother Keri was coughing violently and couldn't speak, so Chloe dialed 911. But this is interesting. She thought the dispatcher that answered the phone was her dad.

Listen to this.


CHLOE: Daddy?


CHLOE: Daddy, mommy's choking.

DISPATCHER: She's choking?

CHLOE: Yes, she can't talk right now.

DISPATCHER: OK, she can't talk?


DISPATCHER: OK, can you open the front door and I'll get help over to you?


DISPATCHER: All right, open the front door, I'll be right there.

CHLOE: Love you, bye.


PEREIRA: Luckily, Keri Olson stopped choking before first responders arrived at her house. They didn't mind coming out to the home, though. They were proud of little Chloe for doing the right thing and dialing 911 and staying calm.

But it was so adorable. She thought that was papa on the other end.

CUOMO: She's a star, but also great.

BOLDUAN: That was the cutest 911 call I've heard in my entire life.